EVE: The Release Roadmap to Fanfest

2015-10-03

CCP Seagull has appeared in a video in the latest devblog, which discusses the roadmap for EVE Online through to Spring 2016, coinciding with Fanfest of next year. Being a roadmap, some of these features are a bit light on details, but a number of them are stirring up a heavy amount of discussion. Many of these future updates have their own forum threads, while a few topics are being held back for EVE Vegas, which starts on October 23. All of these changes are documented on EVE Updates.

The headlines to these changes are a new launcher in beta on October 5 and the long-anticipated “Brain in a Box” project. The new launcher will bring a raft of features long desired by players, including better support for launching multiple clients across accounts, and server selection, eliminating the need for separate test client installs. As it is a beta test, the new launcher has not been localized and will only be available in English. It is also limited to more recent versions of Windows; Windows XP and Mac systems will not be included.

Brain in a box has been in mass testing since April of this year, and is part of a greater rewrite of EVE’s attribute system, “Dogma.” While a massive change to the code that runs the EVE simulation, the first deployment is like-for-like, at best offering performance improvements. However, the new code should offer a lot more extensibility, enabling further iteration on old features and the development of new features; revisiting fleet boosts is one of those big topics that has hinged on this change. Brain in a box is due sometime in Fall 2015.

Parallax (Nov 3)

Only one specific feature patch has been concretely announced in the roadmap so far: Parallax on November 3. The two features currently slated for Parallax are another sovereignty iteration and a tweak to jump fatigue. For sovereignty, CCP is adding passive structure regeneration to deter casual sovereignty assaults, a self-destruct button to assist in sovereignty transfer, an upgrade toggle for I-Hubs, and the ability to scoop objects in space to a fleet hangar. Jump fatigue is getting the upper cap on maximum fatigue reduced to five days, allowing for pilots to accrue and dissipate maximum fatigue from one weekend to the next. Both these changes were announced in a devblog in September and have been discussed extensively, while CCP Larrikin has put out a thread to discuss further iteration of Jump Fatigue.

Fall

In addition to the brain in a box feature, two major events are planned for releases this Fall. The first is actually a continuation/resumption of the Throne World Invasion which brought us Drifter Incursions, a feature that was unfortunately suspended. The other is The Crimson Harvest, speculated to be a Halloween event, in which the infamous Bloody Omir and his Blood Raiders will be making a resurgence. Lore nerds may recall that Omir Sarikusa is one of the primary antagonists to the Amarr Empire, having interfered with the succession following Doriam II’s assassination and attempted to take possession of Jamyl’s superweapon. It would not be surprising if Omir’s reappearance is opportunistically linked to Jamyl’s recent demise and the growing Drifter threat.

Meanwhile, the star map is getting an iteration to support probe scanning, and the camera is getting a minor tweak: a toggle for the ‘atmospheric’ sway animation. Naturally, a new batch of SKINs is promised with this release.

Winter

The two changes planned for Winter currently in discussion are a new T2 Expedition frigate, the Discovery, and a rebalance to missile gameplay, complete with new modules. The Discovery completes the mining frigate lineup by filling the niche for an Ice Harvesting wormhole spelunker and is being discussed in detail right now. Meanwhile, CCP Fozzie is discussing Missile Disruptor modules. A mild buff to Missile Guidance is planned in concert with these new modules to mitigate the potential damage application reduction. Both of these features appear to be planned for December.

Also coming in Winter is a full racial set of T2 Destroyers that utilize an area-of-effect Micro Jump Field Generator. This has potentially significant tactical implications depending on whether this effect can be applied to hostile ships or capital ships, and is certain to have an affect on the tournament meta. More nebulously, CCP is indicating that changes to ships and modules are coming as the result of community feedback. One aspect of this is the T3 Destroyer focus group which is currently accepting sign ups.

There are other huge changes coming in Winter: the introduction of falloff for energy neutralizers, transfers, and remote repair modules have the potential to radically effect how they are used. EWAR modules are also slated for a ‘tiercide’ pass, with warp generators and ECCM also on the plate. As with other tiercide efforts, this will likely be aimed at reducing module confusion rather than a serious attempt at rebalancing EWAR entirely, but stronger differentiation between modules may bring nerfs and buffs alike.

A laundry list of graphical updates are planned. There are videos previewing a Kill Mark system, new engine effects, and an ageing mechanic for older ships (which will come complete with station ship-washing services). Module effects are continuing to be updated, with a preview of the Tracking Computer available and cynos, ECM and Smartbombs named as being worked upon. PBR rendering is finally coming to strategic cruisers, and graphical updates to EVE’s nebulae are also promised. A gamma slider and more powerful camera controls are being introduced to give discerning players more control over the client experience, while a Temporal Anti-Aliasing will be raising the general graphical fidelity. D-Scan is getting a new visualization on the map to; while not a functional change, this feedback should make the tool more accessible to players.

The changes don’t stop there. CCP has foreshadowed new evolutions to Drifter sites and a ‘Tribute’ system that implies greater rewards from CONCORD for currently undisclosed requirements. Tranquility is slated for a hardware upgrade, and the Mac client has been promised improvements to stability and performance. Following up on a Fanfest 2015 presentation on Crowd Science, CCP is teaming up Reykjavik University and a Swiss startup on Project Discovery, which will be bringing “bring real world science research into the EVE game experience.” Last, but not least, more music tracks are coming, most of EVE’s music currently available via soundcloud.

Spring

Only one item is present for Spring: Capitals and Citadels. No new concrete details for these have been disclosed, such details are being held back for EVE Vegas. However, the timing of these changes combined with CCP Seagull’s announcement of the return of expansions to EVE strongly suggest that Spring will be bringing a big expansion with this theme.

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by danikov.

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